Most DCHS and Wildlife Center services are by appointment only. If you found a lost animal, need to surrender a pet, found wildlife in need of help, or require another service, please call before coming to the shelter. Adoption visits are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dec 3, 2019

A Hawk gets a Second Chance

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Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center takes in red-tailed hawk after being hit by a car and left unable to fly.

A Long Awaited Return Home

On January 4, 2020, this red-tailed hawk was released home following a long road to recovery. Many months of care and rehabilitation paid off the moment this beautiful bird was able to take flight and return to the wild. You can read his full story below.

Injured red-tailed hawk is on the road to recovery at Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center.

So far this year, 57 red-tailed hawks have found their way to Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center seeking compassion and healing. One of these majestic birds was found along Highway AB in Madison last August.

Thanks to your support, he is receiving the second chance he deserves.

Mother and daughter, Debbie and Gina, stopped after spotting a red-tailed hawk on the side of the road. It appeared that while trying to catch prey he was hit by a car and was now sitting on the side of the road, unable to fly. They quickly and safely secured the injured hawk in a blanket and headed to DCHS’s Wildlife Center for help.

Upon examination, our Wildlife Center staff found the hawk was in rough shape, suffering from head trauma and significant damage to the right eye. Our experienced staff developed a plan for treatment and healing, and he began his slow road to recovery.

After some time spent healing and gaining weight in our Raptor Recovery Center, he was able to move to an outside enclosure. He had an eye exam from Dr. Bentley, a Veterinary Ophthalmologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary School, and was given the all-clear to begin attempting to catch food on his own.

Upon hearing this good news, Debbie and Gina shared that, “They feel it was their lucky day to have been able to make a difference in this animal’s life.”

“The hawk continues to have a small head tilt, but his flight has improved greatly since admission,” says Erin Lemley, a DCHS Certified Veterinary Technician and licensed wildlife rehabilitator. “Currently he is in a large flight pen with several other red-tailed hawks so that he can continue to practice flying and stay in good physical condition.”

While his future is still uncertain, our hope is he continues to improve and can eventually be released back into the wild.

Thank you to the community members who come to the rescue of animals in need. We are so grateful that animal lovers like you make this work possible. Thanks to you, over 3,800 wild animals in south-central Wisconsin have received care this year.

Please make a gift today to support programs like Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center. When you donate today, your gift will have DOUBLE the impact thanks to a matching gift of $12,500!



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